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JULY: CABO SAN LUCAS, MEXICO
Lesson to Travel By: Sports seasons don't always overlap with resort high seasons.
The Deal: If you're a surfer looking for good waves but don't want to drop big bucks, look to Baja California (view slideshow) in the heat of the summer, when storms in the Eastern Pacific bring in large swells but keep away high-paying tourists.
The Luxury Essentials: If you don't mind temperatures that peak around 90, July is the best time of year to go surfing around Cabo San Lucas. Tourists can easily double the population of this former fishing village in the winter, when the warm weather and sandy beaches beckon to Hollywood starlets and deep-sea fishermen, but the crowds have gone home by July. Rooms at the sumptuous Esperanza Resort (view slideshow) cost half what they do in high season. Novice surfers should sign up for a lesson at the Mike Doyle Surf School; experts can head straight to the break at Zippers, just off Kilometer 29 on Highway 1. And even if you don't surf, you can fish for marlin and tuna, play at one of six nearby golf courses, or strap on a snorkel mask for a look at the underwater life.
Artful Advice: On July 25, the Festival of St. James closes down the streets of Cabo for parades and parties. Look for riders on white horses, meant to resemble the saint who is believed to have brought Catholicism to Mexico.
A Fair Fare: Fares to Los Cabos Airport are steady year-round, but you can occasionally find deals on Mexicana Airlines and Aeromexicoabout $425 from Las Vegas, for instance.
Tel: 866 311 2226 (toll-free)
Tel: 52 624 145 6400
Doubles from $475
Mike Doyle Surf School
Tel: 858 964 5117
Lessons from $70 per person per day